Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday…….

13) Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Hope you all have a great day. 

12) There are 25 guys in the major leagues right now whose dads also played in the big leagues. 

11) New Orleans Pelicans traded Anthony Davis to the Lakers Saturday, for three players and three first round draft picks, one of which is the #4 pick in next week’s draft. 

Celtics wouldn’t include Jayson Tatum in trade talks, which was a deal breaker for them. 

10) There is no clock in baseball, except for the pitch clock:

Padres trailed 11-5 in the ninth inning Friday night, but tied the game and wound up winning 16-12 in extra innings. Horrific loss for the Rockies, who’ve played well recently. 

9) Why do the Padres play Austin Hedges behind the plate every day? 

He has a reputation as a great defensive catcher, but he’s hitting .217 at home, .154 on the road- it is like having two pitchers in the lineup. The guy can’t hit. 

8) Dodgers led the Cubs 5-3 in 9th inning Friday night; Chicago had a guy on 2nd with two out, so tying run is at the plate. LA closer Kenley Jansen balks intentionally, so the runner can go to third base. Why? 

Because when a runner is on second base, he can see the catcher’s signs, and relay them to the hitter; Jansen didn’t want that to happen, so he balked the runner to third and got the save. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Cubs put Kyle Hendricks (shoulder) on the IL
— Tigers put C Grayson Greiner (back) on IL.
— Indians traded P Brooks Pounders to the Mets for cash. 

6) Pro golfer Patrick Reed hit a shot with a wedge on the 18th hole Friday, and he didn’t like it. He really, really didn’t like it. 

He disliked it so much that he snapped the wedge in half over his knee, the way Bo Jackson used to do with his bat after he struck out. Looked like Kevin Costner in Tin Cup.

5) Cubs are considering putting a sportsbook in Wrigley Field, which would be interesting. 

4) Angels DFA’d closer Cody Allen, who is getting $8.5M from the Halos this season; his ERA this year is 8.33, with 20 walks in 23 IP. Not good. 

3) Phillies 8, Braves 5— Scary moment when Atlanta starter Sean Newcomb got drilled in the back of his head by a 102 mph liner off JT Realmuto’s bat. Newcomb left the game but is OK. 

2) There are rumors that even though this is Bruce Bochy’s last year managing the Giants, he may not be done managing. Bochy could manage France in the next WBC (he was born there) or take a shot with another big league team, if that chance comes up. Who wouldn’t want to hire a guy who has won three World Series?

1) Christmas in June; the Phil Steele college football magazine came in the mail Saturday, marking the unofficial start to the college football season. Let the studying begin. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Happy Armadillo Day!!!!

13) Happy Armadillo Day!!! 18 years ago today, I started this website, not knowing where it would lead, but it has led here. Hope you enjoy reading it. 

12) Have a book recommendation here; “Then One Day” written by Chris Andrews, the sports book director at SouthPoint in Las Vegas, which is an excellent sports book, and is also next to the hot dog cart and the VSIN radio studio. 

Lot of excellent stories that cover Andrews’ long career, starting from when he was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh. If you like sports and betting, you’ll enjoy this book. 

11) Westgate SuperBook released their odds to win the 2020 NBA title:
4-1— Los Angeles Lakers
6-1— Milwaukee Bucks, LA Clippers
8-1— Houston Rockets
10-1— Toronto Raptors
12-1— Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers
14-1— Golden State Warriors- Sounds like the Warriors won’t get bored next season.

Free agency will change these numbers, maybe drastically. Wagering on the Lakers right now at 4-1 would be an extraordinary leap of faith in their shaky front office. 

10) Someone posted a pic on Twitter Friday of a 1989 basketball game with Wisc-Green Bay-Northern Iowa. Who cares?, you say, but the guy with the ball was Toronto Raptors’ coach Nick Nurse, and the guy guarding him was U of Virginia coach Tony Bennett. 

30 years later, one guy is a national champ, the other guy a world champ. Go figure. 

9) Raptors are first team ever to win an NBA title with zero players on their team who were picked in the top 14 of an NBA Draft. Kawhi Leonard was the 15th pick of the 2011 draft. 

8) Shin-Soo Choo reached base five times for Texas Thursday night, but he didn’t get a hit; he was hit by pitches twice and walked three times. Scored couple of runs, too. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Marlins moved P Jose Ureña (herniated disc) to the 60-day IL.
— A’s put OF Stephen Piscotty (ear) on the IL 

6) Tigers’ RF Nicholas Castellanos is a really good hitter, and is a free agent after the season; Detroit wants him to move to 1B, but Castellanos won’t do that unless the Tigers give him a contract extension- that hasn’t happened yet, so Castellanos remains in right field. 

5) Louisville’s football team had a cruddy year last year; their power rating at the end of the season was 22 points lower than it was in August; Florida State’s power rating dropped 18 points during the season last year. 

4) Turns out the Houston Texans didn’t fully understand what was in Nick Caserio’s contract, so they tried to trade with New England to acquire Caserio to be their next GM, but that fell thru too, so Caserio is back in Foxboro, working in the Patriots’ front office. Shouldn’t be awkward at all; Caserio becomes a free agent after next April’s draft. 

3) Idaho fired basketball coach Don Verlin; assistant coach Zac Claus will coach the team this coming season. June 14 is an odd time to fire a college basketball coach. Vandals were 5-27 LY, after being 22-9 the year before, but apparently Verlin has run afoul of the NCAA. 

2) Blue Jays are in Houston this weekend, so Toronto rookie Cavan Biggio gets to spend his first Father’s Day in the major leagues playing in front of his dad, Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. 

1) RIP Pat Bowlen 75, owner of the Denver Broncos, who passed away after a long bout with Alzheimer’s. While Bowlen owned the Broncos, they played in seven Super Bowls, and had only seven losing seasons; he was revered in the Denver community. RIP, sir. 

Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

13) Raptors 114, Warriors 110— Toronto wins its first NBA title; Siakam/Lowry both had 26 points. Raptors went 6-2 vs Golden State this season, counting regular season games. 

Golden State won only five of 24 quarters in this series. Klay Thompson scored 30 points in 32:00, but he hurt his left knee and left the arena on crutches- he tore his ACL. 

12) People on Twitter Thursday were getting excited, one way or the other, because the Warriors were 3-5 this season in games Marc Davis officiates; Raptors were 9-0. Now it is 3-6 and 10-0. 

There are three officials for every game; doubtful one guy makes that big a difference. There are always going to be stats like that; how relevant they are is debatable. 

11) You can actually bet on which player scores the first basket of the night; Kyle Lowry (9-1) was the winner in this game. 

10) Best I can tell, 2006 is last time the NHL/NBA both had first-time champs in same season; Miami Heat, Carolina Hurricanes won titles that spring. 

9) Angels 5, Rays 3— They had a power outage at the Trop during this game. 

Albert Pujols became the 6th player ever to hit 200+ homers for two different teams. Shohei Ohtani hit for the cycle. 

8) Former Texans’ GM Brian Gaine was accused of discriminating against African-Americans in a complaint that was recently filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which may help explain the odd timing of his recent firing. 

A former security coordinator for the Texans made the accusation, after he was let go by the team on May 8. Gaine was fired on June 7. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— New York (A) put 1B Kendrys Morales (calf) on the IL.
— Tampa Bay put 3B Christian Arroyo (forearm) on the IL.
— Cubs put P Carl Edwards Jr (thoractic strain) on the IL. 

6) Royals 7, Tigers 2— Game was played in Omaha, to kick off the College World Series; nine players in this game, plus Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire, played in the CWS in their college days. Omaha is where the Royals’ AAA team plays. 

This was the first major league game ever played in Nebraska; let the record show that KC’s Cheslor Cuthbert is the first player in MLB history to get a hit in a game in Nebraska.

5) Former St Joe’s basketball coach Phil Martelli will be making $450,000 a season to be an assistant coach at Michigan the next two years. 

4) Sounds like Zion Williamson will fit into the NBA just fine; he signed a marketing deal with Prime Sports back in April but terminated the agreement on May 31, three weeks before he is even drafted into the league. NBA has more drama off the court than on it. 

3) Apparently, Thursday was Walmart’s 40th birthday; how do I know this? Kept getting text messages from them Thursday telling me this, and I rarely shop there. 

2) Detroit’s prize pitching prospect, Casey Mize was pulled from a minor league game after 23 pitches in the third inning Thursday; he left with the trainer with an undisclosed injury. 

1) John Calipari parlayed his dalliance with UCLA into a 10-year deal with his current team (Kentucky) that is worth $86M. It has some unusual pieces to it. 

Starting with the sixth year of the contract, Calipari has the option to step down as coach and become “special assistant to the athletics director/university representative,” a title that receives $950,000 per year, as opposed to the $9M a year he makes to coach. Calipari is 60 right now; he figures to end his career with the Wildcats.

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) Why does there always have to be someone to blame? People today always need someone to blame when something bad happens. 

Kevin Durant got hurt Monday night; all I see on Twitter is “Whose fault is it?”

The Warriors trainer? Their GM? Durant? His agent? Russell Westbrook? 

Sometimes stuff just happens, then people have to react/adjust to it. This was no one’s fault. 

12) Durant already had his injured achilles tendon operated on; that was quick.

11) Of the top 100 top-rated TV programs of 2018, 64 were NFL games. 

10) Tuesday night was the first time the Pittsburgh Pirates allowed four home runs in an inning since 1956, when the New York Giants did it, with a young Willie Mays hitting one of them.

9) This week at Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, a gambler bet $44,000 that Phil Mickelson won’t finish in the top 5 at the US Open at Pebble Beach; if he wins his bet, he banks $4,000. 

8) Reds opened the first inning Wednesday with back/back homers (Senzel/Votto), first time they did that since 2001, when Alex Ochoa/Barry Larkin did it.  

7) Baseball stuff:
— Padres sent P Chris Paddack to Class A ball, just to rein in his innings.
— Arizona put P Jon Duplantier (shoulder) on IL.
— Marlins put P Jose Urena (back) on IL. 

6) Something you don’t see much anymore; a defensive tackle on the Baltimore Ravens was so out of shape at minicamp that the team set him home, basically after stretching exercises. With so much money at stake nowadays, players tend to stay in shape year-round. 

5) Tennessee Titans will retire Steve McNair’s #9 and Eddie George’s #27 this fall; McNair’s #9 will be the first #9 ever retired by an NFL team.

4) Back in January, the St Louis Blues were having a bad season and fired their coach; a gambler in Las Vegas wagered $400 on them to win the Stanley Cup, at 250-1 odds. Probably seemed like throwing money away to most, but today the guy cashes a ticket worth $100,000. 

3) Braves 8, Braves 7 (11)— Game ended around 12:30 am; teams have a 12:10 first pitch today, so lot of people better sleep fast. 

2) Brewers 6, Astros (14)— Mike Moustakas hit the deciding home run in the 14th inning. Milwaukee batters walked once, struck out 24 times in this game, and still won.

1) Wednesday night, a person paid $69,287.21 each on the Warriors’ website for two courtside seats (total: $138,574.42) for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. 

Someone should tell this person that the games are on TV.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) Surprised to hear that the Oakland Raiders will be featured this summer on Hard Knocks; figured that they would wait until next year to feature the Raiders, when they move to Las Vegas. 

12) Mets had two men on, no one out Tuesday with Jeff McNeil up; Bronx plays the 3B in for a bunt, and Mets’ TV guy Gary Cohen exclaims, “They’re playing in for a bunt!!! Doesn’t anyone scout?!?!?!” 

Words aren’t out of his mouth and McNeil homers to right-center. I’m guessing Bronx coaches and staff won’t be too thrilled when they hear about Cohen’s comments- they are in first place after all, while the Mets are………owned by the Wilpon family. 

11) There were 13 homers in the Arizona-Philly game Monday night, which is a major league record for one game. 

10) Interesting to follow Twitter late Monday night and Tuesday with reaction to Kevin Durant’s injury; lot of people suddenly became medical experts. 

Without knowing the inner workings of the Warriors, am guessing the decision comes down to Durant and the Warriors’ trainer, with Durant having the final say. 

What follows now really could alter the NBA’s entire offseason; what teams will throw major $$$ at a big star with a very serious leg injury? Will he get a shorter deal and have to prove himself healthy before he breaks the bank again? 

9) With Game 6 in Oakland Thursday, it bears repeating that Toronto had a 6-point lead and the ball with 3:00 left Monday with a chance to win its first title, but lost at home. 

Crowd will be fired up for Game 6, the last NBA game ever in Oakland— the Warriors have a new arena for next year, across the bay in San Francisco. 

8) Royals-Tigers are playing a game in Omaha, Nebraska Thursday, in advance of the College World Series. Teams played Tuesday-Wednesday in Kansas City. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Giancarlo Stanton homered (was 2-4) in a Class A rehab game.
— Orioles’ P Alex Cobb (hip) is out for the year.
— Tigers’ SS Niko Goodrum left Tuesday’s game (bruised knee). 
— Dodgers’ SS Corey Seager (hamstring) left Tuesday’s game.

6) Memphis Grizzlies hired Taylor Jenkins as their new head coach; he was Mike Budenholzer’s assistant in Milwaukee this season and in Atlanta for five years. Jenkins will the Grizzlies’ 4th coach in the last five years. 

5) Saints signed DE Cam Jordan to a 3-year contract extension that is worth $52.5M with a maximum of $55.5M that includes $42M in guarantees.

4) FOX Sports produced its US Open promo, but didn’t include the person who won the last two US Opens, which was surprising to Brooks Koepka, who won the last two US Opens. 

“We’re amazed that I wasn’t in it, just kind of shocked. Somebody probably got fired over it … or should.”

3) Most home runs, first 67 games of a career in Major League history:
1. Jose Abreu, 25 (2014), 2. Cody Bellinger, 24 (2017) 5. Pete Alonso, 22 (2019)

2) Detroit Tigers have Jack Morris as a TV analyst this year and he is very good, especially when he talks about pitching. Very honest; I learn something every game. 

1) Zack Greinke has thrown 89 pitches this season that were under 70 MPH, 25 more than any other pitcher in the major leagues. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……

13) Warriors 106, Raptors 105— Toronto had a 6-point lead and the ball with 3:00 left, but couldn’t finish the job; Game 6 is in Oakland Thursday. Warriors were +6 in 12:00 with Kevin Durant on the floor; seriously doubt he plays again in this series. 

Late night update: Warriors think Durant tore his achilles.

12) Dallas Keuchel made his ’19 debut Monday, pitching for Rome in the Class A South Atlantic League; he allowed a single, a walk with nine strikeouts in seven scoreless innings. 

11) Braves 13, Pirates 7— Josh Donaldson got drilled by a pitch in the first inning, the ump threw the pitcher out, and a high-scoring game broke out. Marte and Albies both homered twice in this game.

10) Former Auburn, Akron coach Terry Bowden is heading to the Clemson football staff as a 63-year-old graduate assistant; his brother Tommy was Clemson’s head coach for 10 years.

Bowden is going for a Master’s Degree in athletic leadership at Clemson, and his position on the staff is an unpaid graduate internship.

9) Auburn 14, North Carolina 7— Tigers advance to the College World Series; they scored 13 runs in the top of the first inning. Rough way for the season to end for UNC. 

8) Wednesday’s Rangers-Red Sox game in Boston moves up from 7:00 to 4:00 because Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final is Wednesday night in Boston. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Pirates put P Jordan Lyles (hamstring) on IL.
— Cardinals put P Adam Wainwright (hamsring) on IL
— Angels’ P Matt Harvey aggravated his back injury on a rehab start. 

6) Rained in New York City Monday night, so Subway Series will have a day/night twinbill on Tuesday, with games at 1:05, 7:05. 

5) Tony Parker retired after 18 seasons in the NBA; he won four NBA titles with the Spurs. 

4) Read online yesterday that El Cortez and Four Queens are last places in Las Vegas that deal low-limit single deck blackjack that still pays 3-2 on naturals. Most single deck games pay 6-5 now. 

3) College basketball transfer portal:
— Grad transfer Isaiah Moss bolts from Iowa to Kansas.
— Grad transfer Tevin Mack bolts from Alabama to Clemson.
— F Eugene Omoruyi bolts from Rutgers to Oregon. 

2) Arizona 13, Phillies 8— This was seventh time since 1914 that a team led off a game with three straight home runs; last time was in 2017, also the Diamondbacks.

Phillies’ Jerad Eickhoff didn’t allow a HR in any of his first five starts (30 IP); he’s allowed at least one homer in six straight starts (13 HR in last 24 1/3 IP).

1) Field for the College World Series is set:
Bracket One: Arkansas, Florida State, Michigan, Texas Tech.
Bracket Two: Auburn, Louisville, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend…….

13) Big question for NBA commish Adam Silver this summer: Could Kawhi Leonard’s success this postseason lead to more regular season resting for NBA stars?

People pay a lot of money to go to games and obviously, they want to see the stars play; Leonard sat out 22 games this season. Same goes for TV ratings; people like to watch great players play. 

12) Michigan G Charles Matthews tore his ACL as he prepared for the NBA Draft, is now out until at least January, and thats the risk of bolting school early. He still intends to leave Michigan; his agent still thinks he’ll be taken in the second round of the draft. We’ll see about that; the agent doesn’t get paid if Matthews goes back to Michigan.

11) Nationals 5, Padres 1— Game was tied in 8th inning, then Kendrick, Turner, Eaton, Rendon hit four consecutive bombs off of reliever Craig Stammen to settle things. 

10) El Paso Chihuahuas’ pitcher Kyle McGrath threw seven perfect innings Sunday before giving up a hit in the 8th inning; it was only his 4th professional start, in his 184th minor league game. El Paso is the AAA farm club of the San Diego Padres.

9) Brewers 5, Pirates 2— Closer Josh Hader pitched on back/back days for only third time this year; by way of comparison, San Diego’s Kirby Yates has pitched on back/back days seven times this season. 

8) Twins 13, Tigers 2— Jake Odorizzi (9-2) is the first Twins’ pitcher to win nine straight decisions since Johan Santana during his 2006 Cy Young season. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Mets put 2B Robinson Cano back on the IL. 
— White Sox put P Dylan Covey (shoulder) on the IL.
— Bronx put P Domingo German (hip flexor) on 10-Day IL.

6) Rockies-Mets pitching matchup Sunday was Hoffman-Syndergaard, both of whom were 1st round draft picks of the Toronto Blue Jays, Hoffman in ’14, Syndergaard in ’10. 

5) Bronx OF Brett Gardner threw a batting helmet in the dugout the other night; it bounced back, hit him in the lip and cut him— he needed six stitches. 

4) Kevin Durant practiced with the Warriors Sunday, who haven’t announced yet if he will play Monday night in Toronto- they officially listed him as questionable. 

3) Rory McIlroy shot a 61 Sunday and won the Canadian Open by seven shots.

McIlroy is the last golfer to win a major the week after he won another tournament; he won the Bridgestone and then the PGA in 2014. 

2) Graeme McDowell drained a 30-foot putt on the last hole Sunday to qualify for the British Open, which is being played in McDowell’s hometown this summer. 

1) University of Alabama is returning a $21.5M gift from its largest donor and taking his name off the law school after he called for Alabama to be boycotted over the state’s new abortion law. 

Sunday’s List of 13; Wrapping up a summer Saturday

13) I’m probably a little late with this, but if you like music, A Star Is Born is an outstanding movie and I highly recommend it. Saw it this weekend; I’ve never seen the Kris Kristofferson version from 1976 or the much older version, but Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga had great chemistry. Not that pleasant a movie, but really well done and great acting. 

12) Indiana-Kentucky high school All-Stars have a game every year; Indiana won this year’s game 120-74- a kid named Jake LaRavia of Lawrence Central apparently dominated the game. 

Writer Gregg Doyle did nothing but rave about the 6-8 LaRavia, who will attend Indiana State in the fall. He made 42% of his 3’s last year in high school, but Doyle says his game is well-rounded and that the Sycamores should be very excited to have him on their side next year. 

11) Texas Rangers retired Adrian Beltre’s number 29 Saturday night; little unusual for a team to retire a guy’s number so soon after he retires. Quite an honor.  

10) Angels 12, Mariners 3—Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi had a 3.43 ERA through his first 11 starts; in his last 9.2 IP, he’s allowed 29 hits and 17 runs. No bueno. 

9) Raptors’ G Fred VanVleet needed seven stitches and lost part of a tooth in Friday night’s win in Oakland; he collided with Golden State’s Shaun Livingston.

8) Baseball can be weird; Minnesota’s Max Kepler was in an 0-21 slump, but then Thursday, he went 4-4 wth three homers against Trevor Bauer. Go figure. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Red Sox put 1B Mitch Moreland (quad) on IL.
— Pirates activated OF Corey Dickerson from the 60-day IL. 
— Cardinals placed 3B Jedd Gyorko on the 10-day (back)
— Padres placed RHP Adam Warren on the 10-day IL (forearm)
— Angels put Trevor Cahill (elbow) on the IL. 

6) Not only is the Giants’ Brandon Crawford the oldest starting shortstop in the majors, he is the one of only two starting SS’s (Elvis Andrus) who is 30+ years of age. 

5) NBA will have two regular season games in Mexico next season; Mavericks-Pistons will play on December 12, with Suns-Spurs meeting two days later. 

4) Brothers CJ and Kevin Cron both hit their first major league homer in Toronto; their father Chris Cron his two major league hits, both in Toronto. 

3) Vanderbilt 3, Duke 0— Kid named Kumar Rocker threw a no-hitter, struck out 19 for Vandy; it is funny how Vanderbilt is lousy at football, mediocre at basketball but great at baseball. Young Mr Rocker is a freshman, has quite a future ahead of him. 

2) Oregon State C Adley Rutschman is said to be the best draft prospect since Bryce Harper in 2010 and he is the best catching prospect since Buster Posey in 2008. He’s a switch-hitter with power, and he’s a very advanced receiver, but here’s the thing: 

When you’re a really good hitter and a team invests a ton of money in you, they might want you to change positions, to maximize your career— catchers tend to fade out earlier, but to wear and tear. Rutschman may be learning other positions as he climbs the Orioles’ minor league ladder. 

1) Quote of the Day, part 2:
“He’s not the biggest guy, but he definitely walks with a presence, walks with a purpose. He’s taken on a good role in knowing all the plays and being able to call some plays for us. He’s quicker than snot. He’s been flying around and making a lot of good plays.”

Steelers’LB TJ Watt, talking about first round pick, LB Devin Bush

Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind…….

13) Raptors 105, Warriors 92— Golden State led this game 46-42 at the half, lowest scoring first half in a finals game in four years, but Toronto outscored them 63-46 in second half, and is now one win away from its first NBA title. 

From sound of things, Kevin Durant won’t be playing in this series. Game 5 is Monday night in Toronto, where there could be a very big celebration. 

12) McDonald’s locations in Eastern Canada give away free medium orders of french fries whenever the Toronto Raptors hit at least 12 3-pointers in a game. 

According to The Financial Post, McDonald’s estimated 700,000 orders, but with the team playing so well, that number has ballooned to nearly three times the original estimate, resulting in approximately $5.4M (just over $4M US$) worth of fries. 

11) Must admit, I don’t get the whole “opener” trend in baseball, unless you have one guy who could be a closer who you prefer to start a game with (Ryan Stanek in Tampa Bay). 

Putting a minor leaguer in to pitch the first inning of a game just seems bleeping stupid, like you want to start off at a disadvantage. First inning is the only inning where you’re guaranteed to face the top of the other team’s order- you need a good pitcher there, not some stiff. 

10) Batting the pitcher 8th is kind of the same thing, though at least I can see some logic there, but fewer teams are doing that now. Pretty soon this will be a moot point, because everyone will have the DH in the next couple years. 

9) Houston Texans fired GM Brian Gaine, only 18 months after hiring him, meaning that coach Bill O’Brien is 42-38 in regular season games, 1-3 in playoffs, but has already seen two Texans GM’s fired. 

From Ian Rappaport:
“My understanding is there was no one incident that created the opening. Houston did an evaluation of its football operations and believes — right or wrong — GM Brian Gaine was not good enough. Good, but not good enough.”

In other NFL GM news, the Jets hired Joe Douglas as their GM; he interviewed for the GM job in Houston when they hired Gaine. 

8) ESPN’s Doug Kezirian pointed out that there is a gambler in Las Vegas who is having a very bad week; he lost $49,500 on Golden State’s money line in Game 3, then lost $75,000 on the Boston Bruins Thursday. 

This person is chasing losses……..Friday he bet $182,000 on the Warriors $-190 to win $95,789 in Game 4.

Another tough night for that gambler. Minus $306,000 in three nights; hope he got free drink tickets, at least.

7) Baseball stuff:
— Mariners put OF Mitch Haniger (ruptured testicle) on the IL. Ouch
— In 2012 there were 2,020 pitchouts in major leagues; last year, there were 350.
— Relief pitchers have thrown 40.5% of innings this year, with a 4.42 ERA; five years ago, relief pitchers threw 33.5% of IP. with a 3.57 ERA.

Next analytics wave in baseball will find starting pitchers being stretched out longer in starts. 

6) Boston Celtics are in favor of having free agency happen before the draft, which would be interesting. Right now, there are only roughly 10-14 days between the end of the Finals and the draft, so the draft would get pushed back, which would push back the summer league. 

5) Kentucky and UCLA have assistant coaches in Brazil at the FIBA u16 Americas tourney. The quarter-finals of the event started Friday. 

4) Alex, I’d like bad baseball for $400 please:
— Top of 6th inning, Cardinals down 3-0 at Wrigley, man on first with one out, and Dexter Fowler gets picked off. Why? How? He wasn’t going to steal. Terrible. 

3) Jurors in the Kellen Winslow Jr rape trial sent this message to the judge:

“The jurors could benefit from an explanation as to what being under oath means. 

Additionally, how we should follow the law and not what we think the law should mean.”

Sounds like those 12 people aren’t getting along too well.

2) RB Frank Gore Jr signed with Florida Atlantic and Lane Kiffin. 

RB Frank Gore Sr is still playing in the NFL, with Buffalo.

1) Phillies 4, Reds 2— Jay Bruce is the first player ever to homer in each of his first three starts with the Phillies. 

Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with the weekend here……

13) The person who shoved Toronto Raptors’ G Kyle Lowry, then cursed at him at Wednesday’s NBA Finals game in Oakland wasn’t just any fan; it was Mark Stevens, who is a minority owner of the Warriors. Stevens was tossed from the game Wednesday, and won’t be at any of the games the rest of the series.

Not only that, but Stevens got fined $500K and was banned from the NBA for a year. 

12) Atlanta Braves signed P Dallas Keuchel to a one-year deal worth $13M, which probably leaves Bronx and the Phillies as main trade partners with the Giants for Madison Bumgarner. 

11) Eagles signed QB Carson Wentz to a 4-year, $128M contract that could escalate to $144M; $107M of it is guaranteed. Funny thing is that Eagles won Super Bowl two years ago, without Wentz, but Nick Foles is in Jacksonville now, so Wentz has to stay healthy now. 

10) 1,200 kids just got taken in the baseball draft; 172 from California, 129 from Florida, 113 from Texas, so 34.5% of players taken were from those three states. 

9) Kenyon Martin Jr., son of the former NBA player, is skipping playing basketball at Vanderbilt to try professional ball overseas. Martin is a 6-6 forward; he is the second prospect in two weeks to pass up college ball to play overseas for money. 

8) College basketball is moving the 3-point line distance from 20 feet, 9 inches to the international basketball distance of 22-1 3/4; they did this in the NIT the last two years- under went 64-60 in those games.

Last year, 38.7% of shots taken were 3’s; will this result in less 3’s being tried? 

This season, they will also reset the shot clock to 20 seconds (instead of a full 30) after an offensive rebound, which will result in more possessions, which helps the over.

7) Blues 2, Bruins 1— Back in January, a guy named Scott Berry bet $400 on the Blues to win the Stanley Cup, when they were 250-1 to win the championship. Now St Louis is one win away from winning its first Stanley Cup title. Berry would bank $100,000 if that happens. 

6) Former Steelers’ backup QB Landry Jones may surface next in XFL tryouts; one thing the AAF didn’t have was high-quality QB’s. 

5) For what it is worth, ESPN’s new gambling show Daily Wager is not allowed to use NFL team names or logos, but they use names/logos for all the other sports.

4) Brooklyn Nets traded Allen Crabbe, the #17 pick and a protected first in 2020 to the Atlanta Hawks for Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick. 

Nets clear $18M in additional salary cap space for July, which gives Brooklyn $46M in salary cap space to sign a max free agent. 

Hawks now have three picks (#’s 8, 10 and 17) in this month’s draft.  

3) Rockies, Dodgers, Pirates are tied for major league lead, with 13 home-grown players each on their 25-man rosters. Houston leads MLB with 22 players on their 40-man roster. 

2) News item: Two female acquaintances vanished with more than half a million dollars in jewelry from Jets’ RB Le’Veon Bell’s Florida home.

Lot of ways to go with this one; not every day someone has two “girlfriends” over to the house. Fact that Bell left to go to the gym and left the ladies in the house seem to indicate that they aren’t escorts; if they are escorts, then Bell is a nominee for immediate induction into the Imbecile Hall of Fame.

1) When MLB puts in the 3-batter minimum rule for relief pitchers in the near future, I’ll be glad that I’ll never have to watch some of these cruddy lefty relievers who are in the majors for one reason only— supposedly they can get lefties out.   

Thursday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……

13) Starting today with something a little different; an unsolicited endorsement of a couple guys who own a financial advisement firm in this area; they’re very good at what they do. 

I’ve known Chris/Dennis Fagan for a long time; they’re very smart people. In 2010, i gave them some money to invest for me, not a lot, but a decent amount for me.

Every month, I get a statement on how that money is doing, and right now, my account has more than double the amount that I gave them in 2010, so I’m going to post a link to their website here and if you need investment advice, they’re the guys to ask:

12) Raptors 123, Warriors 109— Key for Toronto is how the other four starters (minus Leonard) score; they were 28-53 from floor in this game, which is great production for them. Toronto has a 2-1 series lead. 

11) Miami Marlins got an RBI from all nine hitters in the fifth inning Tuesday night, the first time that all nine lineup positions got an RBI in one inning since the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 15-run first inning on May 21, 1952. 

10) Marlins are only major league team that has used only five starting pitchers so far this season.

9) Watching some college baseball Sunday night, and it dawned on me that the Creighton Bluejays have nicer jerseys than the Toronto Blue Jays, which shouldn’t be.

8) Colorado Rockies have couple of promising starting pitchers coming up thru their farm system, but here’s the thing: If you’re talking fantasy baseball, do you really want a pitcher on your team from the Rockies? History tells us that you do not. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Cubs are signing closer Craig Kimbrel, pending a physical.
— Mets DFA’d OF Aaron Altherr, third team to dump him this year.
— Indians put P Carlos Carrasco on IL (non-baseball illness). 

6) Interesting how different teams draft ballplayers; only three of the 40 players the Oakland A’s picked were high school players- they also picked a guy from both Harvard and Yale. 

Red Sox drafted seven HS kids, Marlins took eight, Astros took only four. 

5) Bruce Bochy won his 1,000th game as Giants’ manager Tuesday night; he also won 951 games managing San Diego, and is a lock for the Hall of Fame. 

4) Comedian Tracy Morgan got very upset Tuesday when a woman hit his $2M Bugatti with her Honda in Manhattan, which raises a question for me.

There is a car that costs $2M? Seriously? I love my Nissan Rogue; it cost $23,000. Oy.

3) Carolina Panthers’ owner David Tepper has promised to build a “world class” NFL practice facility for the Panthers in Rock Hill, SC; the Panthers play home games in Charlotte, NC, but when a $115M tax break was thrown Tepper’s way, he chose the Palmetto State for the team’s new practice facility. Go figure. 

2) Starting this coming season, the 3-point line in college basketball will be 22’1¾” away from the basket, a change from the 20’9″ that has been in place since 2008.

In Divisions 2-3, the change will take place in 2020-21, to account for the costs associated with moving the line on the courts.

1) A large echo showing up on radar in Southern California last night was actually a cloud of ladybugs about 80 miles by 80 miles in size flying at between 5,000-9,000 feet.  

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) There are 256 regular season games in the NFL every year; last year, 73 of them (28.5%) were decided by 3 or fewer points. 

12) Las Vegas Bowl is one of the first beneficiaries of the new domed stadium in Las Vegas; the LV Bowl will now feature a matchup of a Pac-12 team vs either an SEC team or Big 14 team every year, starting in 2020. The bowl also moves into a post-Christmas slot; the #2 Pac-12 team will be heading to Las Vegas for this game.

11) Since 2011, there have been 12 Pac-12-SEC football games:
LSU +3 W40-27 vs Oregon
LSU -23 W41-3 Washington
Missouri -3 W24-20 Arizona State
Tennessee +28 L14-59 @ Oregon
Auburn -14 W31-24 Auburn
Tex A&M -3 W38-17 vs Arizona St.
Tex A&M -3 W31-24 OT UCLA
Alabama -11.5 W52-6 vs USC
Alabama -13.5 W24-7 vs Washington
Tex A&M +5.5 L44-45 @ UCLA
Ole Miss -7 L16-27 @ California
Auburn -2 W21-16 vs Washington

SEC teams are 9-3 SU in those games, 9-3 vs spread, 7-2 when favored. 

10) Michigan landed former Alabama assistant Josh Gattis as its new offensive coordinator at least in part because Nick Saban doesn’t want a play caller who has never called plays before, so he wouldn’t name Gattis as the Crimson Tide’s OC. 

As a player, Gattis starred at safety for Wake Forest and was the leader of the only Demon Deacons team that won the ACC title and went to the Orange Bowl. 

9) North Carolina football coach Mack Brown has had his right knee replaced by a surgeon who once played for him, Dr. Michael Bolognesi, who played DB for Brown at UNC from 1989-93. 

8) There were only three high school pitchers taken in the first round of the baseball draft, the lowest amount since 2008. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Phillies lost OF Andrew McCutchen (torn ACL) for the season.
— Tigers put 3B Jeimer Candelario (shoulder) on IL.
— Indians put P Jefry Rodriguez (shoulder) on IL.
— Royals put 3B Hunter Dozier (right side) on IL. 

6) Northern Arizona basketball coach Jack Murphy is leaving the Lumberjacks to become the associate head coach at Arizona, his alma mater. Murphy went 78-149 in seven years at NAU and was going into the final year of his contract, which means he was probably getting fired next spring unless the Lumberjacks won the Big Sky, so he jumped ship before he got pushed. 

5) Odds to win college basketball national title next April:
8-1— Michigan State
10-1— Kentucky, Duke
12-1— Kansas, Memphis
16-1— North Carolina, Villanova
20-1— Gonzaga, Louisville, Oregon, Virginia

4) Kawhi Leonard filed a lawsuit against Nike on Monday in California in an attempt to reclaim control over a logo Leonard says he created, when he was a Nike client. Leonard signed a deal with New Balance earlier this season. 

3) UConn added grad transfer QB Micah Lemon from NC State, which prompted Huskies’ QB Marvin Washington to announce he was leaving UConn. Huskies’ WR Keyion Dixon also said he would be leaving the UConn program. 

2) RJ Hampton was a highly sought after basketball recruit who instead chose to play pro ball in New Zealand this season, which is his business, but supposedly he signed the pro contract a full month before he told the college teams that he wouldn’t be playing for them. 

Why would someone do this? Once he signed the contract, there was no going back. Lot of people, both coaches/other recruits, were waiting for his decision so the next domino in the process could fall. 

Without knowing all the fact, it does seem very selfish.

1) St. Louis Blues have never won a Stanley Cup, but four of their former coaches have won 17 of them; their series with Boston now stands at 2-2. Blues have an interim coach (Craig Berube). 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……

13) Angels played in Seattle Sunday afternoon, played a makeup game in Wrigley Field on Monday, and host the A’s in Anaheim tonight; that is 3,462 miles in three days, the 3rd-most miles any MLB team has travelled in a 3-day period. 

12) As of Monday afternoon, there were 806 players in the college basketball transfer portal; with 353 D-I hoop teams, that works out to 2.28 players per team.. Thats a lot. 

178 of the transfers are grad transfers, who are immediately eligible. 

11) Michigan coach Juwan Howard did a very smart thing Monday and hired former longtime St Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli as an assistant. Guys who are new head coaches need an experienced voice to help them avoid some of the pitfalls of their job. 

10) When you watch and read about the baseball draft, keep in mind that Mike Trout was the 25th pick in the 2009 MLB Draft. Scouting/drafting is an inexact science. 

9) On May 1st, Minnesota Twins were 20-1 to win the World Series; 33 days later, they’re down to 13-2 to win the Series. 

8) Sports betting legislation passed in Illinois this week; meanwhile here in New York, we have crickets……nothing happening. NFL training camps start next month. 

7) Orioles took Oregon State C Adley Rutschman with the first pick of the MLB Draft, the first catcher taken first since Buster Posey in 2001. 

Royals took SS Bobby Witt Jr with the #2 pick; his dad Bobby Witt pitched in the major leagues for 16 seasons. 

6) Breakdown of DT Gerald McCoy’s deal with the Carolina Panthers:
— 1 year, $4M to sign.
— $3M base salary
— $500K camp roster bonus.
— $500K in 45-man per game bonus
— 6.5 sacks for  $500k.
— 8 sacks gets him $1.5M.
— $250K for Pro Bowl.
— $250K for playoffs.
— $4M guaranteed.

Worth noting that Carolina/Tampa Bay (McCoy’s old team) are division rivals. 

5) Friday, a bettor in Sparks, NV played a $5, 10-team parlay and hit it for $3,605; four of the ten wagers were underdogs. Pretty impressive.

4) Cubs 6, Angels 1— In his first game as a Cub, Carlos Gonzalez made a great diving catch in top of 7th inning to rob Jonathan Lucroy of a bases loaded double. 

3) Milwaukee Brewers activated Travis Shaw from the IL and demoted rookie 2B Keston Huira, despite Huira hitting five home runs and having an .865 OPS in only 17 games. Milwaukee also DFA’d 1B Jesus Aguilar. 

2) This was the first baseball draft ever where none of the first six picks were pitchers. 

1) Excellent news: Mets broadcaster Ron Darling will be back in the booth tonight for the Mets-Giants game; Darling has been battling thyroid cancer the last few months but has been cleared to return to work. He is a friendly voice in the booth; great to have him back.

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend……

13) Warriors 109, Raptors 104— Golden State opened second half on an 18-0 run; they even series 1-1, with Game 3 in Oakland Wednesday. Klay Thompson tweaked a hamstring in the 4th quarter and is questionable for Game 3. 

12) Chicago Bears’ coach Matt Nagy gave the commencement address at his alma mater, the U of Delaware this weekend; they showed a 2:30 clip on Twitter and it was sound advice for all of us. Basically, the theme of the talk was: 

“Be You = Believing in yourself more than anyone else.”

11) Dwyane Wade was a surprise speaker at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS’s  graduation ceremonies Sunday in Parkland, FL; that is the school where a mass shooting took place last year. The now-retired Wade has been a regular supporter of the school ever since the shooting.

We hear a lot about famous people doing cruddy things; Wade does a lot of good things. 

10) Hasheem Thabeet was the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2009 NBA Draft; he scored only 2.2 ppg in his five-year NBA career- he last played for the Thunder in 2014. Thabeet has played overseas since then.

He is 32 now, and is trying to make a comeback in the NBA. Am guessing someone gives him a shot in the Las Vegas Summer League. He is 7-foot-3, after all. 

9) Had lot of thunderstorms in the Albany area Sunday, and thunderstorms knock out my satellite signal, so I can’t watch baseball. I don’t like thunderstorms. 

8) Some SEC football teams are upgrading their non-conference schedules; Florida didn’t sell out recent home games with Charleston Southern, Colorado State and Idaho, plus they got hurt by strength of schedule, when you think about the college football playoff selection process, so they’ve added home/home series with Colorado/Texas.

7) Baseball stuff:
— Milwaukee put P Jhoulys Chacin (back) on the IL.
— Seattle traded Jay Bruce to the Phillies, for a minor league 3B.
— Rangers put OF Joey Gallo (oblique) on the IL. 

6) Despite Bruce getting traded from Seattle to Philly, the Mets remain responsible for a $1.5M installment of his signing bonus, a payment due Jan. 31, 2020.

5) Stan Wawrinka beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets at the French Open tennis tournament; match took five hours, nine minutes. Next round will be a tough one for him. 

4) College basketball transfer portal:
— Former Valparaiso C Jaume Sorolla bolted to Cincinnati.
— UMass transfer Unique McLean bolted to St Francis NY. 

3) Since 2016, Khris Davis has the most multi-HR games (19), followed by Giancarlo Stanton (16), Manny Machado (15) and Trevor Story (13). 

2) If the baseball playoffs started today:
NL: New York-Twins-Astros. Wild Card: Rays-Rangers
AL: Phillies-Brewers-Dodgers. Wild Card: Braves-Cubs

1) Baseball draft starts at 6pm Monday; the weirdest of the drafts, since kids get picked and then disappear into the minor leagues for a few years. Hopefully this year, the A’s won’t pick any football players.

Because of the draft, it is a very slow day for games; only four games scheduled, one a makeup; the three regularly-scheduled games are all on the west coast.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday……

13) New sports book opened in Las Vegas Saturday, at the Golden Gate Casino downtown. Circa Sports is running this book; there will be a new Circa hotel/casino being built downtown soon, which looks like it will be really nice. 

12) Friday, someone bid more than $4.5M in a charity auction for the opportunity to have dinner with famed investor Warren Buffett. Wonder what was on the menu?

11) Alex, I’d like Bad Baseball for $500:

Bottom of 3rd inning in Chicago, White Sox have runners on 1st and 2nd, one out, with Yoan Moncada up, the #2 hitter in order. TV analyst Steve Stone predicts a pickoff attempt at 2B, because the shortstop took his glove off. Sure enough, they pick the guy off second, but not only that, they throw to first and pick that genius off, too. 

Pitcher is dying on the mound and he gets a double play without throwing a pitch. 

Stone is one of the best TV analysts; very smart. 

10) Jacob deGrom’s last three starts were against Scherzer, Kershaw, Greinke. Lot of high profile pitching matchups. 

9) Baseball stuff:
— Milwaukee put P Gio Gonzalez (arm) on IL.
— Red Sox put 1B Steve Pearce (back) on IL.
— Texas OF Joey Gallo (oblique) left Saturday’s game early

8) Twins 6, Rays 2— Minnesota is now 39-18; last year, they got their 39th win on July 8. 

7) College basketball transfer portal:
— Texas A&M–Corpus Christi G Kareem South bolted to California.
— American F Sam Iorio bolts to South Alabama.
— Tennessee Tech grad transfer G Chris McNeal is poached by Cincinnati. 

6) Toronto Raptors’ big man Pascal Siakam didn’t start playing basketball until he was 17; imagine that? 

5) In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Golden State was +2 in the 14:52 when Steph Curry was on the floor and Fred VanVleet wasn’t; they were -11 in the 25:24 with Curry/VanVleet both on floor. VanVleet has done a better job of defending Curry than anyone else in the NBA. 

4) Murray State G Ja Morant, who is expected to be the #2 pick in the NBA Draft, is having minor surgery on his right knee, which should sideline him 3-4 weeks and likely means he won’t play in the Las Vegas Summer League in July.

3) Kid on Baylor hit three homers, knocked in 11 runs in a 24-6 rout of Omaha Saturday in the NCAA baseball tournament. 11 RBI in one game doesn’t happen much, at any level. 

2) Brewers 12, Pirates 10 (13)— Both closers blew their first save of the year in this 5-hour game; Arcia homered in the 13th for the game-winning runs. 

1) There were 1,135 home runs hit in May, breaking the all-time record for a month by 16.